Hello Modern Traditional

Before I start the ‘make over’ post, I would like to say that I have loved this job from the beginning to now (it’s not over yet). The client has been a pleasure, giving me her trust to completely change everything in her house. I know that’s really hard for people to do, to let go and let someone take control of their intimate space that they call home; having said that you all should let me take control because I promise its worth it in the end. I do an amazing job and I do mean to sound conceited.

When I walked into this home, my first thought was “wow there’s so much potential.” The house has a ton of natural light, tall ceilings & it just needed a new updated look without losing its roots. And what I mean by that is I wanted the space to feel more modern without losing its tradition.

The family room; the room everyone hangs out in, where all the lounging happens, talking happens, eating happens, chewing too loudly happens (this is a very real and common problem and it needs to stop), the general space where people act like people (yuck) so this room needed to be first and foremost – comfortable and durable.

So here was my starting point for the family room;

So we’ve seen the starting point, and because I like this client, I’m not going to spend too much time on what doesn’t work and what is borderline offensive. We’re going to move along to what I needed to do to give the space some style that felt family friendly, modern and hold the test of time (that’s the scariest one for a me as a designer. I want my client to be able to live in a space I created for as long as they desire – so that would be forever).

Five Areas to Improve;

  • Replace sectional with another sectional or just another couch
  • Coffee table to anchor the room
  • New lighting new lighting new lighting, did I mention new lighting?
  • Add shades for texture- and yay it also happens to be practical
  • Area rug

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This is a mood board I created for the new direction of the family room. The base is neutral with pops of grey, wood and blue. The secret for me is to have loads of texture, I need a space to literally feel very inviting. A good space is a space people never want to leave and you achieve this by adding lots and lots of texture. I do this through the rug, throw pillows, woven/ textured blinds, wood finishes etc. I like to constantly mix different materials – and yes you can absolutely mix gold with silver.

My guy Willie transforming the walls from blah to the perfect grey with hints of purple, we all know that’s the best and most flattering gray.

My thought process behind painting the ceiling was pretty simple, I thought “that would look awesome!” Going beyond that, I did it to achieve a space that’s a little more intimate and cozy in an otherwise very light and open room. So I decided on a deeper color for the feature on the ceiling. It also plays as a good back drop for the light fixture.

The first progress snapshot is always exciting, I can breath a small sigh of relief knowing that it’s all coming together, looks good and I’m not just crazy. This was taken after the paint was done on the walls and ceiling, the couch was in and lighting installed.

At this point I make my way to West Elm because they’re my fail proof way for accessorizing any room. I cannot contain my happiness when I’m in this store, everything is sooo pretty and if I could I would buy every item for myself and proceed to mark the items up by 100%  if a client should ever need something thus guaranteeing myself all rights to everything West Elm. Even as I’m typing it, I feel like I sound reasonable.

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So the blinds are in and they are perfect. They’re clean and functional for the space. The coffee table arrived and it’s beautiful- everything is finished except for this one thing>

The bookshelf, it’s still here, it hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t gotten the memo that it is very much UN welcome in this new space. I brought someone in to custom make a bookshelf and stain it the same color as the walls to lighten everything up; so my client and I were anxiously awaiting the day for it to be installed… that day finally arrived on a breezy morning here in Miami, mid February.

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Do you remember this guy rocking the khaki shorts? I wanted to give him a second feature.

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This is me taking pictures while they installed the shelves- which were AWESOME- what a relief. It’s never a good thing when a client trusts you to make the right decision for their home and then you don’t, so this was turning out to be a good day.

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So this is it, so beautiful and perfect yet still not finished. They need to come back to install the doors at the bottom (for those of you who felt like it was a little overwhelming to have so many shelves- good eye and I hope you don’t pursue a career in design because that’s my jam and I’m terrible at sharing.) The plan from the start was to have cabinets at the bottom for games, blankets and other miscellaneous things that are not books and don’t look pretty- like most things we all have. They will be ready in about a week and I’m really excited about it because  I ordered these pulls that honestly might not make their way to the client.

I wanted to wait to post this make over until the bookshelves were completely done but it’s taking a little longer than expected and I also just really want to share it with you all. So while reading all my informative, funny content and looking at all the beautiful, well taken photos have in mind there’s still some more to come and that thought alone should lull you to sleep peacefully tonight.

A slideshow of the makeover to refresh your memory because this was a really long post;

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Welcome to Surfside

We moved into a home this past April and it’s been as exciting as you would think it would be. It’s a privilege in ones life to buy a home and I feel honored and Blessed to experience it. The process has been enjoyable, except for the time my handyman told me I can’t replace the load bearing pillars with gold. Those moments haven’t been so fun for me.
I wanted to share this experience and transformation with you all because what kind of designer would I be if not?
The happy trio making their into the new place.

 

This picture was taken a few minutes after I received the keys to our new house, I waited until the realtor and agent left before I took this selfie. For those who spend a lot of time with me, now you know I can make this face.

 

The first two weeks in the house looked like this;

I know, I told myself to breathe in before, during and after I took this picture. On the one hand I wanted to take my time with unpacking to make sure I was putting everything in the right place but on the other hand my mindfulness with unpacking quickly turned into me idly standing around like Leonardo DiCaprio at the Oscars. Did I just say that? Every decision started to make my head hurt. I needed someone to physically come over, take things out of boxes and saying “Chana, I think milk belongs in the fridge.” And this someone knows who she is- thank you!

 

My mornings were not easy for me because this is what the route to my coffee looked like. I don’t do well before my coffee when I’m vacationing so this was a challenge for me.

Now lets go through the process of finding the color scheme/vibe for the house. I wanted it to feel comfortable and inviting, at the same time I wanted to enhance the mid century bones the house already had. I consider myself so lucky to have found a space that really speaks my language. I love the warmth of mid century design, I’ve always been drawn to that era’s shapes and style. As a designer, I use this process for my clients and never really thought I would use it for myself. As it turns out, designer or not, we all need a guide.

My process of inspiration;

 

 

 

I love muted colors, organic shapes and lots and lots of textures. As I started to capture what inspired me it became much easier to start putting it all together.

Then came the inspiration board;

And so started the paint process, you know the fun part of painting when you spend tons of money and time on itty bitty samples of paint. But there’s a goal and it’s to find your perfect color, which I did.

How can I not include this picture, it’s so attractive. I know this part of the paint process might scare people because it’s so hard to look at, but you need to do it. Paint looks completely different on the wall than it does on the chip. It also looks different on the wall during the day and during the night. Furniture, lighting and art are all things to take into account when finding the perfect color. Getting paint samples is a must!!

One of the big questions when we moved in was to “paint the brick or not paint the brick.” I was on the “paint the brick” train from the start but I waited until we were moved in for 2 weeks to pull the trigger. I don’t think in every case brick should be painted, in my case I felt very strongly about connecting the house through colors so for me, painting the brick felt right.

Now it’s time to welcome you all in as I will  show you the before’s and after’s of the house.

(Disclaimer, there’s still a lot of changes I would like to make to the house so please take that into considerationwhen looking at these pictures. If I waited for it to be perfect, I would never post.)

Here’s the entrance untouched, this is one of the better shots because my hunk of a son in the shot.

 

First came the paint
Then came the metallics and greenery

 

This is the first living area in the house, it’s full of character and space.

The after

Some not so flattering features of the house- we all have our flaws and this one’s made of green textured glass ‘Ew’ -said like Jimmy Fallon.

Temporary solution for the all the green-ness was bookshelves in front. And there’s no space of mine without a cowhide. It adds so much texture and it works ANYWHERE.

In order to create two spaces in one area, I divided the room. The office area on one side and the TV area on the other; by creating separate zones, the space feels bigger and functions more efficiently.

 

The wood wall that had me at hello, I talk to walls when they’re made of wood.

 

Turned it into backdrop for a gallery wall.

A space needs to evoke all senses in order for you to truly experience a room; I like to make my candles feel very cozy.

Another view of the same room

I added sheer curtains to give it some depth without taking away the light.

 

 

The dining room is more of a big area off the kitchen that can also double over as another living space. The lighting in this room is perfect during the day because of all the windows and then at night we have this pineapple shaped chandelier that keeps us smiling.

 

The other side

 

The after, I know the after looks a lot like the before because we’ve only added drapes and a table, but we’ll get there.

 

 

I wanted this area to feel light open as well as inviting. I did that by sticking to strong neutrals and lots of layering to get that lived in feel.
With most good things, it’s usually coupled with a little sadness. We said good bye to the apartment that gave us so many good moments and memories. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, Eliana and Noam both took their first steps here, they both also had their first tantrums here. Thank you for the beautiful times, we will never forget you, although I’m not promising anything.
On to the next chapter,

Interpret Style

For those of you worried that I stopped blogging, you can stop because I am still here. I figured since I officially have two followers the lack of posts wouldn’t cause too much distress. Before I post about my recent projects, yes that’s projects with an ‘s’- there has been more than one, I wanted to go back to a classic- which is interpreting the style of awesome ladies into interior spaces.

 

I don’t want to focus on her bony chest but I definitely want to point it out……………………… I love the soft pink cashmere sweater paired with the loose, white skirt- that also has pom poms. This is an easy outfit that’s free and organic. The gold bracelet is the only thing that has form and sharp edges so I think it’s a perfect accessory for this outfit. And those sunglasses are very cool, they tell us she’s the type who can go to an Ultra concert but knows the difference between a human and a tree.

This would be where she finds solitude and gets some work done. The form of the fiddle leaf tree in the background is so beautiful and I love how the lamp mimics that shape. The black and brass chair grounds the corner with the Lucite chairs and white cowhides. Then there’s the wallpaper and light fixture. The wallpaper is awesome and I’m still not sure how I feel about that caged light bulb. A part of me thinks it’s beautiful and the other part tells me I should try and help.

I love those overalls with the leather jacket wrapped around her hips; She has a very down-to-earth tomboy vibe. The vintage camera she’s sporting tells us she likes a good mix of old and new. And anyone who likes a good mix knows good design.

 

This vignette would definitely be part of her home. Its collected, a little messy and beautifully eclectic. Anyone who has a naked sculpture of a woman in blue is either crazy or has an eye for art. I’m going with ‘an eye for art’ because that sculpture is pretty amazing. I love how this little area breaks all the ‘rules’ so perfectly.

 

 

What’s worse than one awesomely dressed woman?Yes, two of them. Although I have to admit I like the woman on the left with the sweatshirt and blue and white pants. She looks more effortless and comfortable. Her friend looks cool, a little house on the prairie for me but I still like it. These two women combine classic, traditional with modern ease.

This is what their shared space would look like. This room is very traditional for the most part but feels current because of the color choices. The neoclassic chair, the skirted ottoman and plush chairs would usually feel dated in other surroundings but with the chandelier and the dark painted side room this space feels modern.

This woman is bohemian, grungy, minimal, chic and all of the above. I love the way she looks. I even like how easy going she is about hailing a cab. Is it just me or does the woman behind her on the left look really annoyed? Nobody asked her to put on a Parker puff jacket…..

This would be her space because it’s all of the above. It’s sophisticated, laid back, modern and has a little boho spirit. All the color is coming from flowers, art or lemons. The foundation of the room is minimal and timeless- just the way I like it. The light fixture is also just the way I like it, grouped together in different sizes and at different lengths. #failproof.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on beautiful transformations. I’m excited. Even when I’m excited I don’t use exclamation marks, it’s too much of a commitment.

Men are from Mars, Women are Better

Once upon a time a man and woman fell in love and decided to live together forever under the same roof. One day, the woman came home and found a small mountain of nail clippings on the coffee table and asked herself, “Did I think I was living with a human and in reality he’s an ape?” The man later explained he intended to throw the nails away when the play-offs were over. And so begins the wonderful journey…..
For any space it’s important to create the right balance between colors and shapes; even more so when working with a couple. When men and women join parties it’s a difficult task to show both perspectives in their shared space. He wants a fish tank that runs across the whole wall and she wants lots of frames with pictures where she looks good and he looks really cute (fat.) A tip for the ladies: it’s best to let him think he’s part of the design process like when he comes up with the idea of built in cup holders in the arm rests, nod your head in agreement and then do the exact opposite.

Here are some examples of a spaces working for couples living together;

This space blends both interests together seamlessly. The color palette is neutral and soft, the shapes are varied from severe to curved and it’s not over accessorized. Had those womb chairs been darker it would have felt more grounded and masculine. The drapes in the background also add softness.

Again this is a more neutral color palette but the neutrals are darker. The sofa and arm chair are very masculine in their shape so the throw and pillows tossed around work well to soften it. The different sized bowls and flowers on the coffee table bring in femininity and so does the rug; it’s a strong pattern with a very soft texture. The core pieces in this room are very dominant so accessorizing becomes the balance of the room.

This is another example of a balanced space, it does lean a little more to the feminine side with the zebra ottoman and that sculpture light fixture. With the rug, walnut wood chair, muted colors and simple architecture, the room works nicely together.

Here are examples of spaces working for just the women:

This room is really pretty, warm, layered and welcoming; to most people besides men. There are way too many blush tones in this room for a man to feel comfortable with. It would take one time for the guy to stand up from the couch and knock his head into that petite dollhouse-like chandelier.
For a guy to live in this room, it would be like him saying he likes it when women wear harem pants;

Ladies think this is the hottest coolest thing right now, the men on the other hand think we should keep these pants in the Disney movie ‘Aladdin’ where they belong.

I love this little vignette, it’s almost like a period piece. This delicate corner has everything on the feminine check list;
-the floral wallpaper
-the crystal chandelier
-the vintage shaped mirror, that’s hanging from a ribbon
-the ‘flea-market-feel’ chair and table
-framed butterflies
This vignette leaves women lingering and men running.

Here are some spaces that work well for the men:

I think a man should be scared to bring a woman into this room, within days there would be an area rug, the pillows would slowly become smaller and fluffier and there would be a bunch of little things on the coffee table leaving no room for anything practical.

I happen to appreciate the simplicity of this bedroom but I don’t know if other women would share my opinion. Maybe it’s the lack of color or the vastly empty brick wall, but this bedroom needs a little TLC from a woman.

This bedroom is done really well. The blues, camels and light greys are all more masculine but with all the fabric and textures it brings in the feminine. The walls are padded, there’s wall to wall carpeting, the drapes are full, the throw on the bed looks luxurious and the stools outside with the white pendant by the bed bring in all the softness the room needs for a perfect coupling. Jeff Andrews was the creator of this room. He is one of my favorite designers, if you request it, I can write a whole post on him 🙂
Just make a request in one of the many comments you plan on writing…. yes that’s a hint.

 

Let’s Interpret Style

It’s that time of the month again…. for those ladies who have more of a connection with that statement, I’m sorry and there’s no such thing as too much chocolate or alcohol or Bridget Jones. It’s time to interpret the style of cool people wherever I find them.

“Hello I’m the girl who looks like a cross between Megan Fox and Dakota Fannings younger sister, Elle Fanning.” She’s dark, mysterious and has a beautiful butterfly collection.

The woods in the space create warmth and grounding for all the light coming into the room. It’s simple and natural and sends the message that less is more. Any time a space sends that message it’s very alluring.

I love this color combination; white, grey and that tan. This would be good with gold or silver and it’s so easy.

This space is so sculptural and beautiful. There’s not a ton of color in this room, just neutrals and different finishes that add interest. Like the woman looking for her keys, this room has a very strong core. Those room dividers are out of this world. I dream of imitating them in my own home one day in the near future. I hope that doesn’t put too much pressure on my husband.

She’s wearing a beautiful, simple, slightly masculine outfit. This trench dress isn’t messing around, it’s a strong piece that doesn’t need anything else to speak for it. It has the perfect effortless drape.

This room makes a very strong impression. It’s very straight forward and to the point- much like a man. Like a man, this room doesn’t want to be drowned with throw pillows that have no purpose or poster prints that read “Keep Calm and Carry on”or framed pictures of people pouting to accentuate their cheekbones or the word “like.”

I like this little peek-a-boo outfit, it’s so cute and sporty. After having a baby I would never be able to pull this off, it would look like my stomach was sticking its tongue out at you. If you thought that joke was funny, you should start following my blog, you would love it!

This space is airy, unpretentious and happy. I love the greenery and the creams, it reallyopens everything up. This space is a good translation for the sporty girl above because it’s minimal with good statement pieces and no frills. Those floor lamps are awesome andthey’re from West Elm.

Is she sad because she’s lost in a field? Is she sad because her bangs are in her eyes? Maybe she’s just bummed about the Office being over after nine great years…

The canopy bed would be a good transition for her coming in from the outside. I love the rustic wood beams with the linen fabric hanging down. It’s soft, feminine and organic. I don’t think she can be unhappy in this bedroom.

I love her, I don’t know her but I love her. Her jacket is killer and paired with the tank top and leggings is so chic. The whole look tells me she is not easy going when the person working at starbucks puts sugar in her coffee. This is where she will end up at the end of her long day of coffee and music.

This room is by David Hicks, a truly great designer. This room is sophisticated not intimidating and feels low-key. The woman above needs a space to feel easy, she doesn’t look like the type who can be busy with details or able to lift heavy objects. The abstract artis a big impact but it doesn’t feel stiff. I love the color scheme and textures of this room. David Hicks people, look him up.

 

She’s cool, edgy, a little traditional and youthful. The Alexander Wang bag tells me she has a true understanding of style and rocks it. I know that because I actually have someone very close to me in my life who has an Alex Wang bag and she is the coolest person I know.(If you’re reading this you know who you are, you keep on rockin on 😉 I’m going to get a phone call from my mother telling me “I don’t have a Alexander Wang bag, it’s LouisVuitton.” It’s going to be tough bursting that bubble.

This area has a really good mix. There are strong pieces like the mirrored table and lamp that say ‘chic and fresh’ and then there’s pieces that say the same thing the plaid skirt says:’fearless of traditional (irish influenced prints).’ We see that with the rug and rustic patio chair. Overall this space is a mix of trendy and traditional which is the best kind of mix. Check out that awesome magazine rack under the desk.

 

How ruggedly awesome is she? Her hair is perfectly messy with that scarf. The loose tee with the light layering makes it look like there was absolutely no time spent getting ready on her behalf. What I like about her is that she also feels a little boho which is always nice.

This space feels boho, comfortable and loungy. The area rug is soft enough for people to sit on and relax. Nothing in this space needs to be touched up, the pillows and couch are soft and casual. I love those light installations, they’re so vintage. The beads in the background remind me of my childhood. I used to have those in my bedroom and then Igot rid of them because they are probably the most inconvenient way to enter into a room ever.

On that note, I wish you all a good weekend 🙂

Thrift Shop

“I’m gonna pop some tags; Only got twenty dollars in my pocket” (awesome song)

Lincoln Road every other Sunday is a vintage dream. It’s full of furniture pieces and artwith tons of character and potential. I needed to be there at 9am because it was the last show til October so naturally I woke up at 630 so I can have my three 16 ounce cups of coffee. I had really high hopes for the day that were later crushed by my crying baby who thinks throwing cheerios in my eyes is the same as just telling me no.

So let’s start with wholesalers, Micheal and Judy. They have an awesome collection of vintage furniture, “Strictly Modern Gallery,” and I always find something (except this time.)

Those red chairs were $350 for both, yes you heard right, for both.

Look at that beautiful bad ass leather rocking chair. The crystal lamp behind the chair was$300.

I wanted this vignette for my home, but I would have to add literal space to my apartment to find a place for that. The upholstery was freshly done by the dealers, love it.

I love this bookshelf so much. I convinced myself it would be perfect for books and bought it, then later returned it because the seller specifically told me the glass shelves can’t hold more than 10 pounds and books would kill these shelves anyway. I want to give a shout out to my husband, thank you for your constant support in favor of not buying this bookshelf. And by constant support I mean literally constantly telling me “Chana you should not buy that.”

The seller of this bookshelf is Tony of Acme Mantiques. He is a really nice guy who can pretty much do anything to wood for anyone asking.

This lamp is also from Acme Mantiques and is so much better in person. It’s so graphic, big and beautiful.

When you’re thrift shopping there are treasures and then there are things like this:

It will never matter how cheap you got this stone dragon/gargoyle piece, it will always be a bad purchase and one you should deeply regret.

You think this would be too much for a candy jar?

 

While I find these two pictures intriguing I knew they were a cue for me to start heading home.

I think this fish that’s attached to a wooden board was targeted for really eccentric Jewswho are looking for a centerpiece on Rosh Hashana- and that’s a stretch.

Pre-owned trolls….. It might seem cute and nostalgic at first but the reality will set in and you’ll be left with a troll.

 

I like this water painting a lot. It’s mysterious and soft and exotic, I would love this in a den. The framing is nice too.

Large ceramic grapes are one of the coolest and most flexible decorative objects you can ask for. They can be placed or draped on almost anything and they always look good.

Are these dressers amazing? Yes they most certainly are. I wanted these dressers for myselfbut unfortunately I already purchased two dressers from IKEA. It was a lucky day for someone else (bastard.)

Happy thrifting. I hope you were able to walk away with some knowledge from my many, many tips.

We’re Interpreting Style

I decided to start doing monthly installments of the post “interpreting style,” for those of you who haven’t read that post, click here. Every 4 weeks or so I’m going to put together a postbased on the original due to popular demand (and by popular demand I mean I heard someone say the word “style” last week.) The reason I decided to do this is because I feel like this type of post best represents what this blog is all about; design, style and observations.
So let’s begin the challenge of finding the homes of these stylish people;

Here’s a woman who looks cool and laid back. I love her round sunglasses and the colorpalette. She looks like a modern yoko ono only instead of being a bad influence on theBeatles she has no influence on the Beatles. This is where she lives:

This living space feels stripped and exposed in a good way with the concrete floor, thefireplace and the exposed brick wall. This room has the same message as the modern yoko, “I exude style minimally.”

 

The first thing we see about this woman is that it doesn’t seem like she’s wearing a bra. The second thing we know is that she likes to wear multiple earrings in each ear. The third thing we know is she’s pure chic. She’s wearing just a t shirt, sunglasses with her hair pulled and looks like she could be attending a fashion show for Celine. When she does head back home, this is probably where she will end up:

This feels fresh, simple, uplifting, natural and crisp. I love this space. This is a good exampleof editing at its best; knowing when to stop. The bra-less woman and this interior have restraint but not severity in common.

 

This woman is about textures, shapes and being naturally amazing. Let’s guess which room she belongs to:

Close, but no. This dining room is sophisticated and has edge with all the brass but itdoesn’t belong to her, it belongs to her:

Ah yes, the glamorous, goth-like, boho, lady like, sleek woman. She’s bold and delicate, like the dining room with high gloss black walls and a crystal chandelier.

So the woman in the killer leather jacket lives here:

This bedroom is perfection, it’s designed by Nam Dang Mitchell. It has a masculine feel with sturdy grounding furniture pieces. I love the form of the two arm sconce (Serge Mouille). This is a really good combination.

 

 

Who do we think is waiting behind this door?

Not her,

This woman is waiting for a sandwich….

No no not her, she’s behind these doors:

These are amazing brass and steel doors; Doesn’t get much better than this.

So who is waiting behind that burnt orange door?

She’s relaxed and a little boho. I love that necklace and the earth tones of this outfit. Although I do feel like it may be a challenge for her to see anything.

Where has this woman escaped from? Maybe she’s running away from Tim Allen in ‘Jungle 2 Jungle.’

I think that’s a safe assumption.

This is where she’ll find refuge from Tim Allen. It’s peaceful, full of nature and light.

Hmm… she seems interesting. I wonder where she lives…

She lives in a fantasy ti pee in the corner of her brownstone apartment in Brooklyn; very native.

Oops, I forgot I don’t want to know where she spends her time, moving on.

 

Wow.. this woman looks incredible and she also looks very angry, she probably hasn’t sniffed a carbohydrate in ten years.

 

This kitchen is by Jean Louis Deniot, one of my favorite french designers. This is a prefect kitchen for someone who’s goal is to not eat.

I love this jacket with the leather arms, shows the importance of detail. She pulls off that gray wool hat really well. I like this Annie Hall feel that’s going on here…..

 

This space by Sally Wheat is so perfect. It’s an effortless mix of styles and feels classic. The floor lamp, the graffiti painting, the wood panels on the wall all equal classic edge.
The perfect way to end a perfect post…….. ok, a nearly perfect post……. a great post? How about, a perfect way to end a mediocre post? Sounds accurate.

Feel free to leave suggestions of rooms or people you would like me to pair up (again I’m just trying to encourage you to leave comments 🙂

How To Get That Look

So you flip through a magazine and see tons of pictures of rooms you love. So you fold the tip of the page in hopes of someday creating something just as special in your own home. Two years later that page is still folded and your hopes have some what lessened. How do we translate those beautiful rooms into our every day lives so we can really enjoy it? “That’s a good question Chana, I’m glad you asked. I thought this was going to be just another post of gorgeous rooms and George Clooney…”
Look who is full of surprises…
When trying to recreate something you’re inspired by, the key is not to get stuck on the individual pieces but the feelings of the space and aim for something similar.
So let’s start with this area:

This is a dining room that feels earthy and light with a little touch of tribal edge. Let’s get the look:

This is earthy, natural with some tribal punch. The woods I used here are darker than the woods in the picture above, but the feel for the room is the same. The dining table is fromCB2, the cowhide is from IKEA and so is that plant. The black and white print is from Crate&Barrel. Once you know the feeling you’re looking for, it’s much easier to find piecesat affordable prices and put them together. When first looking at the first picture, it may seem unattainable, but it’s not. Recognize the vibe of the space, and slowly build up with pieces that are in your price range.

 

 

This is a bohemian minimalist look taken from Vogue. The chairs aren’t matching, the flowers and vases are different shapes and textures. It feels bohemian because every piece looks like it was collected and thought about over time. Although the room feels free spirited, it’s not all over the place. Let’s get the look:

So this is the bohemian, clean look. The space needed to feel collected and eccentric but with simple lines. I added the black curtains for the warmth and the depth. The console and red chair are from West Elm, the lamp and dining table are from IKEA. Does this feel bohemian minimal to you? (Please feel free to leave comments at the end.)

Almost everyone I speak to can use a small work space in their apartments/homes. A space for the computer, laptop, mail and other gadgets. It’s not hard to make it look stylish either, let’s get the look:

The table is from IKEA and the chair is from Overstock, you’d be surprised at the stylish affordable things you can find there. The wall accessories are CB2. This look has the cozy, intimate feeling that we liked from the picture above but has a little more “downtown” to it which I think works. If you want to stick to the airier version, you can just switch out the black cowhide, that will change everything:

You see? It changes everything….

This vignette is a beautiful example of the ‘Palm Springs retro’ thing. It’s basically the same as mid century but with a lot more cactus and desert. I love the shaggy rug, the funky shaped chair and iron base table. Everything works well together and doesn’t feel exaggerated. Let’s get the look:

Welcome to Palm Springs baby. I’ll admit if I would of put a picture of palm trees or lots of sand it would be more convincing but I wanted to focus on the furniture choices. The rug is from IKEA, console and lamp, West Elm. I like this interpretation because it feels authentic and clean. Sticking to a neutral color palette was key, how does this feel to you?
You can leave your comments at the bottom. My posts are not generating a ton of comments so I’m trying to be encouraging.

Designers and George Clooney, Naturally

There are designers that I like, there are designers I don’t mind and then there are designers that I LOVE. I want to share those designers with you so you can be a better person with a fuller life because that’s what design does for a person. 🙂  There are actors that I don’t mind, will tolerate or that I LOVE. One of those actors is George Clooney. I’m fluttering my eyelashes, can you tell? So with every designer I love, there’s an angle of George Clooney that I love, and today I will be sharing all those designers and angles with you.
You’re welcome..

Designers- John Rawlins & Athena Calderone
These two designers created what we know today as Rawlins Calderone Design. With Johns past experience of working for Tucci and Athenas knowledge from NYs Parsons,these two are sooo good. I love the grittiness of it all and I love how youthful all their work feels.

 

Love all the cool tones, feels so masculine and sexy.

This is a duplex penthouse in NYC. It has an awesome vibe, it’s sophisticated and laid back. The colors are muted but still really strong and it reminds me of this George:

This is a rugged, laid back George. This was the time George and I were sharing a laugh.

Designer- Robert Stilin
Robert Stilin has built a reputation for himself as a versatile designer with beautifully classic work. The baseline of his work is always sturdy, well made neutral pieces with layers of modern shapes. I think the reason I love him most is because everything he does feels easy and comfortable which ultimately what you want for your home.

The light fixture on top of the table and chairs…. take a minute.

Even though there’s a sculpture made of wire, this seating arrangement still feels classic.

Great vignette, it’s simple and to the point.

Like Robert Stilin, George has this classic american style that is always current, never stale.It’s just too good.

Designer- Steven Volpe
Steven Volpe Designs has a unique way of creating spaces that feel lived in and thought out. His style is spacious and modern with perfect craftsmanship. His spaces also always feel airy and light and I love that. I also appreciate how he doesn’t shy away from being grand and luxurious.

How good is this? Every color and shape compliment each other.




This is so sleek and severe- perfect.

Meet sleek George Clooney. This was the first time he and I met eyes. His eyes were saying “Where have you been all my life..” My eyes were answering, “On a couch, watching all your movies, eating ice cream.”

Designer- Waldo Fernandez
Waldo studied architecture and design at UCLA which was followed by a job as a set designer.  (that’s a really good turn of events) With a showroom he started in 1974 and a celebrity client list, it’s impossible to look away from his work. For me a big pull towards his work is his mix of colors and patterns. He really inspires me.

A curved brown sectional couch at its best.

 

 

This room is bright and grounded. I love the rug which was an amazing choice. This room is humble but grabs all of your attention.

This George grabs all of your attention. This is a good choice for George when I finally introduce him to all my friends and family. It’s a big step, don’t want to rush into anything.

Designer- Nate Berkus
Nate’s style is sophisticated without being intimidating. I love how he puts things together. I fell in love with his work because it has a 70’s retro feel to it which is my favorite.

Even those beige shoes look good.

 

 

How perfect are these?? Theyre perfection but still feel approachable and humble. Like him:

George, don’t look at me like that… I’m just not ready for you to meet my family, relax. (Do you believe this guy?)

Designers- Daniel Suduca & Thierry Merillou
These two paired up and create amazingly interesting galleries of their collections and that’s what I love about them.

 

I have no words, I absolutely love this space. It really makes my heart stop, I may need a doctor.

Yes, he seems more than qualified. I feel better now, let’s run away together.

P.S. To my husband, I am very happy with you and am madly in love with you.
P.S.S. I didn’t make supper tonight, I was caught up writing this post.
P.S.S.S. Don’t look at the credit card bill for a little while….
Love you, mean it.

New Year New You

The new year is a time to reflect on the past year and think about what we could have done better and what we can improve on in the new year. It’s a time full of hope and possibilities; that will probably turn into disappointment because the year changed but it didn’t change who we are. So I put together a list of tips that you can use at home. Where to invest, how to create a mood and what to embrace. Be prepared for a resourceful, information packed, blow your mind type of post. If you would like to take a quick snooze before you start, I advise that you do.

TIP ONE: Invest In A Good Sofa
A great sofa does so much for a home. It invites people to sit and relax. It connects people together. It’s a place to bond after a long day, watch a movie or tv. It’s something we use all the time in the home and is totally worth the investment.

This is s space designed by Nate Berkus (his collection for Target was the worst thing for me. My husband has officially banned me from that store. I have never found more reason to go buy febreze and bananas) The sofa is a tuxedo sofa designed by Milo Baughman. It’s classic in form, comfortable because of the depth so so stylish. I love a good tuxedo.

Here’s a leather tuxedo, a little more traditional and masculine.

The sectional… hold on one second I just dropped dead. The sectional is a perfect piece for a living room. There’s enough seating for family and guests so you don’t need to pretend to be comfortable sitting on the floor. “Sit on the couch, I love sitting on the floor. I choose the floor over the couch even when you’re not here.” It’s inviting and so versatile.

So this is a combination of my two favorite things, sectionals and velvet. Love it! (I said thatin a really high pitched voice) This space is designed by Jessica Helgerson.

Yea, this is is the mamma bear of sectional sofas and I need her lovin.

TIP TWO: Dress Up Your Walls
Choosing a piece of art or photograph for your home can be very overwhelming. You’re saying “This piece completely represents me and my style,” and that can seem like a bigcommitment. What you need to keep in mind is that it’s not permanent, if you don’t like it after one week you can always take it down and change it for something else. Once you start playing around, you’ll find what you’re looking for. The hard part is always starting.

This gallery wall is really simple and striking. I love the abstract figures and the creativity behind it. Gorgeous.


This canvas relays the message very well.

I love a gallery wall that incorporates objects as well. It feels so lived in and personal. The big black and white picture gives a great vintage vibe.

TIP THREE: Make Time to Sit And Eat
Everyone always seems to be so busy. Whether we’re doing something or not, we’re talking about it or taking a picture of it. It’s nice to incorporate a time to sit, eat and talk. Even if it’s once a week, just sit down and listen to all the complaints from your family.

Speaking of vintage vibes, this seating nook really does that with the small framed black and whites. I love the retro feel. The rounded leather bench is a perfect choice forinteraction.



Gorgeous color combination… I absolutely love it. The woods, golds and deep purple is killer together. I would talk and eat here all day, (more eating than talking but who’s keeping track?)

This is great for large families because of the ample amount of seating. This is the type of area that is constantly in use. There’s so much warmth here, I love it.

Sitting down with family or friends and talking face to face instead of screen to screen issomething we should all take on this new year. Ten minutes go by and I’ve already “liked”something on facebook and instagram. Sometimes I’m even “liking” pictures I’ve put up myself. (Insert embarrassed emoticon here.)

TIP FOUR: First Impressions Count
This year pay more attention to your entry way, even if it’s a wall. Take advantage and create an area for a drop zone and something personal. These are the moments that stick with people and make your house your home.

This is the entry way in designer Angie Hranowskys home. There’s not a lot going on but when walking in the person feels so much. The beautiful large scale photo of the shell, the marble wall and the geometric wall divider. Angie is sending a message through shapes and forms. And the message is “my home is better than your home, deal with it.”

This is an entrance vignette done by Daniel Romualdez. I love the glamorous attitude it has. It is simple and just pure design.

How awesome is this?  I would use profanity now but my mother is my only follower and I’m too vulnerable to lose her right now. I feel so adventurous just looking at this entry way, imagine walking through it. It’s rustic, abstract, bold and perfect. This is the entry way of Trina Turks’ home.

TIP FIVE: Embrace Leather
Leather edges up any room and makes it look cooler. It gives you the freedom to mix patterns and eras and helps keep a space gender neutral.

So there’s a lot of leather here but it’s an example of different ways to use leather: poufs and armchairs. A great thing about leather poufs is that they’re indestructible. There’s no amount of wine, water, dirt or kicking around that can harm it.

Hides are really useful tools for adding grittiness to a room. This room already feels light and airy; imagine it without the grounding of the hide. Anyone can add a hide to a room;it’s the easiest and cheapest way to start.

Look what the hide does for this room. Designers like Kelly Wearstler and Miles Redd haven’t decorated a space without leather, it’s the secret weapon for a cool space. Remember that a little goes a long way.

This is another masterpiece done by Daniel Romualdez (crush of the moment). Do you seewhat the leather chairs do for the space? It adds so much edginess.

TIP SIX: Black Is The New Black
I don’t believe it went anywhere, but for those of you who thought color is all the rage, it’s time to let black into your life.

This is a girl who is embracing black and rocking it.

What’s better than two gorgeous girls together? Two gorgeous girls together wearing black. (You saw that one coming)

 

A black backdrop for a gallery wall is so striking. From the picture above you can see it really elevates the room. (Btw notice the hide on the floor…works every time.)

Another black backdrop. Take my advice, choose a wall to paint black now so in a month when your neighbors start doing it, you can smirk and nod your head at them, all condescending.

Working black with boho is so cool. Kate Moss is doing it here and so can you. Just buy yourself a wool hat from Zara and pair it with anything black.

I hope you enjoyed the tips. Watch out 2013, I’m going to kick your ass! If 2013 knows anything, it’s not threatened by me. It knows it’s in for a year of sweatpants, ice cream, mood swings, anxiety about bed bugs, fear of new things, fear of old things, Fox’s NewGirl, (I’m not getting anything for that shout out. I still don’t have consistent followers) fear of having conversations with acquaintances and a lot of “I can’t go out tonight, I have nothing to wear.”

Here’s to a brighter, bigger, better, year.